LLOYD COLE AND THE COMMOTIONS - Rattlesnakes (1986) /Easy pieces (1985) REQ by Gary
Folk Rock, Pop Rock, Indie Rock
Producer - Paul Hardiman
All lyrics by Lloyd Cole.
01 Perfect Skin (3:10)
02 Speedboat (4:32)
03 Rattlesnakes (3:22)
04 Down On Mission Street (3:43)
05 Forest Fire (5:11)
06 Charlotte Street (3:48)
07 2CV (2:50)
08 Four Flights Up (2:33)
09 Patience (3:33)
10 Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? (3:03)
Alternative Rock, Brit Pop, Indie Rock
Producer - Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley
02 Why I Love Country Music
03 Pretty Gone
05 Cut Me Down
06 Brand New Friend
07 Lost Weekend
09 Minor Character
10 Perfect Blue
Links to download:
Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, 1984-1989
In recent years, Lloyd Cole's made quite a name for himself as a literate, folksy singer-songwriter, with several acclaimed albums under his belt. But I'd say his best work was done more than a decade ago, with his first band, the Commotions.
The Scottish songwriter has always been pretentious -- in the best possible way. His early albums with the Commotions set the tone for his wry lyricism, as he drops names and turns phrases in a Dylanesque frenzy of highbrow wordplay.
Before disbanding in 1989, the Commotions released three albums of jangly, soulful folk-rock -- 1984's brilliant Rattlesnakes, the less-interesting (but still impressive) Easy Pieces and the quieter final effort, Mainstream. Though some of these records are now out of print, highlights have been compiled on a CD collection called, simply, 1984-1989. It's a worthwhile investment, including four tracks from each of the band's three albums, with a couple of single B-sides thrown in.
And it's a pretty good representation of what the group was all about. Cole's lyrics are top-notch as always, just pompous enough to reveal his roots as a philosophy major, but not so abstract as to alienate the listener.
He drops all the right names, goofing on Norman Mailer and Simone de Beauvoir with equal wry abandon. And his delivery is priceless -- his warm, university-lad voice breaks with wounded affectation in just the right places.
Through it all the Commotions rumble along behind him, veering with ease from thrumming folk-rock to soulful cabaret.
The highlights of this collection are many. "Rattlesnakes,'' though, is likely the best song Cole's ever written. It's got a fantastic interplay between a twangy guitar line and a sumptuous string arrangement, propelled by a chugging rock beat and Cole's brilliant vocals -- and this is just one of a dozen good songs on the album.
If there's a complaint to be made about 1984-1989, it's with the decision to include four songs from each album. I'd sooner see more from Rattlesnakes. But even so, it's hard to grouse about a collection this strong
"The album's timeless yet at the same time so firmly grounded in an era. Like almost every one of The Beatles' (yes, I'm aware of what I'm saying here) albums post-Help, Rattlesnakes could have only been recorded when it was and yet there is nothing dated about it. If I knew what it was that allows this to happen I would probably be able to describe it better but I can't. So I'll leave you with this: Rattlesnakes, from track to track, is probably one of the most coherent Albums I've ever heard. Each song is lyrically grounded and blends into the others to form a well crafted whole. Lloyd has written a valentine to the past while looking romantically out to the future. Buy the album, it ain't bad."
"His lyrics are so clever, the tempo upbeat, the style fresh... this is the album that got me hooked on Lloyd Cole back in the mid 80's. If you ever get a chance to see him in concert, I highly recommend it; his voice is a bit deeper these days, but he hasn't lost his style."
"In a style similar to "rattlesnakes" this is an excellent album. Wonderful melodies and lyrics. I read somewhere that the group afterwards thought that the music came too easy this time and not enough effort was expended (lots of drum machines etc.) This certainly does not shine through and the album is incomparably better than the presumably effort packed and self conscious "mainstream" which followed. Talented indeed to make such music with little effort! As does "rattlesnakes" it stays as fresh as (diving into) spring water."